Analysis of Asset Allocation

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Financial Statistics: Introduction
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INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this section is to introduce or refresh some statistical concepts that provides the necessary foundations for portfolio and market analysis. We will focus mostly on the functional aspects of the concepts and the presentation will be very short. For those who are interested in more detailed analysis, we suggest to visit our BookStore where recommended books can be found.

Every discipline has its own special vocabulary. It is also the case with statistics. To avoid needless repetition, we will define them now.

Terminology and General Concepts

What are variables?

Variables are instruments where measurements and/or results are stored. You can find in variables the result of empirical observations and/or the result of computing.

Statistical analysis can be, in our limited scope, defined as the measurement of correlation between variables. The one that are explained by the other variables are said dependent variables and the ones that explain independent variables.

What is a population?

The word population is used to define the global unity analyzed.

What is a sample?

The word sample is used to design a portion of the population that is supposed (see p value under) to behave as the population.

What is statistical significance (p value)?

The statistical significance of a result is the probability that the observed relationship (e.g., between variables)  in a sample occurred by pure chance, and that in the population from which the sample was drawn, no such relationship exists. The higher the p-value is, the less we can believe that the observed relation between variables in the sample is a reliable indicator of the relation between the respective variables in the population.

In many statistics analysis, the maximum acceptable level of the p value is 5%.

In the next section, we will study the descriptive statistics.

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